Air Passenger Duty gets budget alterations
It’s budget time again, folks, and you know what that means – it’s time for the government to completely reshape its strategy on Air Passenger Duty (APD), as it does on an annual basis.
Chancellor George Osborne said yesterday that he wants to “end the crazy system where you pay less tax travelling to Hawaii than you do travelling to China or India”, and the good news is that it could save passengers more than £200 million annually.
That’s according to the Association of British Travel Agents, which was full of praise for the chancellor’s efforts.
Currently, APD is calculated by measuring the distance between London and the final destination’s capital city, meaning you might end up paying well over the odds if you’re not travelling to the capital.
“From next year, all long-haul flights will carry the same, lower, band B tax rate that you now pay to fly to the United States,” Mr Osborne said, struggling to make himself heard over the cheers from regular long-haul fliers.
So far so good, but what does it mean in practice? Well, a family of four travelling to a destination such as the Caribbean, India or Thailand will save £56 which is not to be sniffed at, and £104 when visiting Australia, Argentina or Singapore.
Those flying in premium economy, business class or first class will be happy to learn they’ll save twice as much.
Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, welcomed the news, saying a reduction in APD will help Britain’s economic recovery.
“The highest rates of aviation tax in the world were a brake on driving the UK’s economic growth with emerging markets,” he commented.
So book some time off and celebrate with a nice holiday, why don’t you? But be sure to book your insurance as well.